Saturday, August 20, 2016

favorite protein smoothie (and toddler snack)... recipe

I struggle to get in my fruits and veggies each day... I also can utterly fail in the protein category.  But especially as a nursing mom I realize the importance of good nutrition.  But here's the deal... I hate cooking and I don't always have tons of time to spend on getting food prepared.

Solution?  My new favorite protein smoothie!!!

I have been sipping one of these DAILY for a few weeks now.  They have been a lifesaver with getting in the protein, greens, and fruits my body needs.  And, at least to me, these are actually quite yummy!  I don't use them as a meal substitute, though you definitely could if you want (especially if you aren't trying to get extras in for breastfeeding).  Best part?  No crazy rare ingredients AND it is completely modifiable to your personal taste.  So, let the sharing begin!

my first step is to entertain rennie with a snack in her highchair!

Rachel's Favorite Protein Smoothie

Ingredients (for 1 HUGE shake or 2 mediums)
(I don't measure anything, so these are estimates!  Do what amounts taste good to you!)
1-2 cups spinach (fresh or frozen... read my caption under the next picture to see what I do to keep from wasting fresh spinach)
1/2 cup water
1 cup plain greek yogurt
1-2 cups frozen strawberries
1-2 tbs peanut butter
1 scoop whey protein powder (I use chocolate!)

i love getting my organic spinach in bulk from costco!  i usually end up taking an afternoon to wash, air dry, and freeze a bunch of it whole!  i just put a couple handfuls into a small freezer bag (one bag equals one smoothie serving) and all done!  it breaks apart easily into the blender later!  for the smoothie pictured i used fresh since i wanted to use some up!

First I place my spinach and water into the blender and whoosh!: a lovely green liquid that I have no desire to drink!  ;-)  Thank heavens for the remaining steps!

Next I add my yogurt and frozen strawberries (and a splash more water if needed!).  More whooshing!

At this point I do something for later (skip this step if you are just making the smoothie).  I thought I would share this for any mommies/nannies/grandmas/aunties/anythings! out there who might want to try this for their kiddoes.  Rennie LOVES the fruit/veggies "pops" I make for her from this mixture!  So, unless I still have some in the freezer, I like to pause before adding the peanut butter and protein powder to pour some of the smoothie into an ice cube tray.  Later I chop a cube into smaller pieces and watch Rennie devour them.

Lastly I add peanut butter and protein powder to the mix and whoosh! one last time.

I usually drink 3/4 of this mid-afternoon and save the rest for a late-evening snack if I get peckish after supper.

There you have it!  Do any of you have a favorite healthy smoothie/shake?

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

mamabird life {seven}

summer slip away.  and it is bittersweet.  on one hand i am not a lover of hot weather, so i am very thankful that this season isn't dragging too badly.  on the other hand my daughter is growing older with each flying month and i wish she could stay a baby for a bit longer. 

 my new phone.  i upgraded to an iphone recently and it is nice to have on hand since my laptop's life ended last year.  i definitely use it too much currently... hopefully the longer i have it the less i will "need" it.

to my dad's sermons online.  it is really hard for my to sit down and really focus on reading these days with an active baby!  so thankful to have this resource in my crazy mom life!

picture from my sister's wedding rehearsal back in may!  what a beautiful time!

little projects.  like the silhouette picture above.  <3  i've been wanting to make one of rennie for some time now and love how it turned out!
 to try my hand at live plants.  i love all of the health benefits to having indoor plants and so far i have managed to keep my spider plant and mini jade alive (i'm notorious for killing plants).  i did tons of research on which plants would be good for our lifestyle/house as well as which plants wouldn't be harmful just in case rennie got her hands on one and love how pretty the ones i found are.  ;-)

 a piano.  i miss it.  
we *do* have a keyboard, but any pianist will agree with me that it isn't quite the same.

about the next few months.  we have sooooooo much coming up that i can't wait to share in a future post!!! 

 at my sweet little family.  rennie has such an adorable personality and makes us laugh constantly.

 presents for my girl... who is turning one in less than two weeks!  what???!!!
we are choosing simple things for her.  we want to encourage her to see value in people/relationships over possessions.  that starts with curbing our enthusiasm over all the cute baby things.  ;-) 

no nail polish.  and i haven't worn it pretty much since rennie's birth.  i never was super concerned about it before, but now that my hands are quite often full of a squirming child, it seems terribly impractical.  my toenails get spiffed up every so often, but usually only on special occasions.

overwhelmed and excited.  again, i will share more in a future post! 

cute animals and big, warm sweaters and socks (remember how i don't like hot weather?).

worship music from cd's i listened to as a kid.  there's just something about that...

my mom and sister arriving in less than a week!!!  i can't wait to see them and get working on rennie's birthday party (which will be a simply affair, but still so fun to plan!). 

that God knows my heart and loves to bless it.  He has answered so many longings in so many areas and i can't wait to see how it plays out!!!


Friday, July 29, 2016

renniebird... eleven months

she likes to touch my lips while i kiss her  <3

At eleven months, Serenity:

Walks everywhere and gets into everything!
Weighs 27 1/2 pounds
Wears 24 month and 2T clothing (and size 4 diapers)
Dances to music
Claps during pat-a-cake and points at her palm to "mark it with a B"
Loves hugs and snuggles
Enjoys books (being read to and also "reading" to herself!)
Likes cheese, loves eggs, and hates oatmeal
Has nine teeth *wowsers*
Hugs her stuffed animals!
Stomps her feet when she's angry
Says "mama" when she needs to be held and "dada" when she's super excited

Loves peekaboo

How has it been almost a year already since the Lord blessed me through the birth of this sweet girl?  Through the other struggles Andrew and I have faced in the last eleven months, she has been a shining reminder of God's grace and love.
I have been learning so much from becoming a mother.  I am learning that my physical self, my shell, is not *who* I am, it is merely an accessory.  It is a gift meant to be used... a means to give life, to demonstrate love, and to serve the Lord.  I am learning my imperfections... my breaking points... my need for grace, for help, for others.  I am learning that I can't please everyone... and that I don't need too.  God sees my heart (including my failures) and He is the One to whom I answer.  He sees my love for the family He has graciously given me.  He sees my insecurities about the many changes I have gone through (physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually).  He sees my desires.  He sees my exhaustion.  He sees my wrongs.  And He continues to tenderly love me.
I think that has been one of the biggest lessons I have been learning since holding this baby girl in my arms for the first time: what true love looks like.  Not human love, but rather the perfect love of Christ.  I have been given a *glimpse* of His unconditional, self-sacrificing love for me.  It is a flawed glimpse, but one nonetheless.  If I, as a sinful human being, can instantly feel this sort of strong love for another sinful human... how deep must God's love be for me?  And how thankful am I to be His child?

I am so grateful for the readers here who have continued on this journey with me.  My blog has gone through quite the metamorphosis since I started it as a sixteen-year-old single girl.  It has gone through the devo phase (back when I had time to sit and just write), the random phase (as life became busier with a courtship/engagement), the young marriage phase, the fashion phase (again, when I had time to put together tons of different outfits on a daily basis! *wink*), the loss and infertility phase, the moving phase, and most recently the new mommy phase (with the struggles of loneliness, battles with depression, and amazing joys of motherhood all thrown in!).  I see this blog now as, more than anything, my journal.  It reflects my life.  Nothing is forced.  If life has been no time for anything except some pictures and a random quote/verse I love, then that is what I share.  If life has been reflections, that is what you'll find.  If life has been hard, I don't lie about it.  I have one of those nondescript blogs that you either love or you don't.  I hope me being real is a blessing.  I hope I don't show perfection, but rather what is true.

Now, lovely people, if you'll excuse me, I have a child trying to climb the desk who needs my attention.